Paula Newsome, Matt Lauria and Mel Rodriguez have been cast as leads in CSI: Vegas, which is nearing a formal straight-to-series order at CBS, I have learned.
Your Complete Guide to Pilots and Straight-to-Series orders
I hear William Petersen and Jorja Fox are finalizing their deals to star in CSI: Vegas, which serves as a sequel to the mothership CSI series, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, reprising their roles as Gil Grissom and Sara Sidle, respectively. While billed as an event series, I hear CSI: Vegas, from writer Jason Tracey (Elementary), CBS Studios and Jerry Bruckheimer TV, could become an ongoing series running for multiple seasons.
With CSI: Vegas, the most watched drama series of the 21st century, CSI, opens a new chapter in Las Vegas, the city where it all began. Facing an existential threat that could bring down the Crime Lab, a brilliant team of forensic investigators must welcome back old friends and deploy new techniques to preserve and serve justice in Sin City.
No details about Newsome, Lauria and Rodriguez’s characters are being revealed.
I hear Newsome will play Maxine, the new head of the Vegas Crime Lab. A former basketball coach, she is a top-flight scientist and a leader in the field of genetics. Recently divorced, she struggles with her son’s opioid addiction.
Lauria is believed to be playing Josh, a Level III CSI who is typically the lead investigator on cases, and has a knack for crime scene reconstruction. Vegas born and bred, he comes from a family of small-time crooks and scammers.
He played a different character, Agent Matthew Pratt, in a three-episode arc on the mothership CSI series.
Rodriguez is said to be playing Hugo who took over as Head Medical Examiner three years ago. He has an endless fascination with the bodies that find their way onto his slab, and the morgue is his happy place. Rodrigues previously guest starred in an episode of CSI: NY (character name: Al McGrath).
As Deadline revealed last February when the potential CSI followup was in preliminary stages of deal-making and development, the original idea was for the event series to debut in October 2020, marking the 20th anniversary of the mothership series’ premiere. That plan was thwarted by the coronavirus pandemic-related production shutdown.
Tracey executive produces CSI: Vegas with JBTV’s Bruckheimer, Jonathan Littman and KristieAnne Reed as well as CSI creator Anthony E. Zuiker and CSI: Cyber alum Craig O’Neill. Peterson and his long-time producing partner Cynthia Chvatal, who exec produced the original series, are expected to return as executive producers on CSI: Vegas.
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation followed a team of crime-scene investigators for the Las Vegas Police Department as they used physical evidence to solve murders. The original cast included Petersen, Marg Helgenberger (who is currently a series regular on another CBS series, All Rise), Fox, George Eads, Gary Dourdan and Paul Guilfoyle. Petersen was succeeded by Laurence Fishburne as CSI’s leading man. He in turn, was followed by Ted Danson. Petersen left CSI in Season 9. Fox departed as a series regular in Season 8. She remained a recurring guest star for the next four seasons, rejoining the cast as a series regular at the start of Season 12.
Created by Zuiker, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation bowed out in 2015 after 15 seasons, having launched a $1 billion franchise for CBS that spanned four series; CSI and spinoffs CSI: Miami, CSI: New York and CSI: Cyber.
Newsome recently recurred opposite Henry Winkler and Bill Hader on the first season of Hader’s HBO comedy series Barry and on the NBC drama Chicago Med. She is repped by BRS/Gage Talent Agency and attorney Darrell Miller.
Lauria has been filming director Michael Morris’ feature To Leslie and can be seen starring opposite Juno Temple in Sky TV’s original series Little Birds. Kingdom alum Lauria was recently seen starring in Season 2 of CBS All Access’ Tell Me A Story and in Channel 4’s Traitors. Additionally, Lauria played Hailey Steinfeld’s love interest in the first season of Apple TV+’s Dickenson. He is repped by Principal Entertainment LA, WME and Ziffren Brittenham.
Rodriguez was most recently a series regular on the Showtime series On Becoming a God In Central Florida opposite Kirsten Dunst. He was also seen opposite Anne Hathaway in Dee Rees’ The Last Thing He Wanted for Netflix. Additionally, Rodriguez recently voiced Officer Colt Bronco in the Disney-Pixar animated feature Onward. He is repped by UTA and Abrams Entertainment.
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